Ford will miss Vail Christmas tree lighting |

Ford will miss Vail Christmas tree lighting

VAIL ” Former President Gerald Ford will not make his traditional appearance at Vail Village’s Christmas tree lighting Saturday.

Ford, who owns a home in Beaver Creek, has been lighting the tree since the 1970s.

Laurie Asmussen, organizer of the tree lighting, said Ford will spend Christmas with family in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

“We were informed he wasn’t going to make the trip to Colorado this year,” Asmussen said. “It will still be a very festive event.”

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Vail firefighter Ryan Sutter and his wife, Trista ” of Bachelorette fame ” will light the tree with Vail mayor and longtime resident Rod Slifer.

Free hot chocolate will be served and there will be holiday music at the event, which begins at 6 p.m. and will last about 45 minutes.

The ceremony will take place in Slifer Plaza, between the Covered Bridge and the Vail parking garage.

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